CARROT CAKE or Parsnip Cake (Low fat and low sugar)
This recipe is for a Carrot Cake that is low in liquid vegetable fat as well as being low in added sugar. My Carrot cake has only 8% fat, and 8% added sugar whereas most commercial ones have 20% of fat and 20% of sugar. My Carrot cake has no added saturated or hydrogenated fats, yet it still produces a moist and succulent cake.
The Carrots give the cake a natural sweetness and moisture, as do the added soaked raisins.
For the Parsnip cake, just substitute the sweet parsnips for the carrots.
Reduced sugar; you soon get used to it, but be aware that you may have to keep cakes in the fridge, or keep portions of the cake in the freezer till you are ready to use them, as sugar is a preservative as well as a sweetener.
One 20 cm round tin, oiled with the base lined with baking parchment.
Soak 225 gm ( 1.5 cups) of raisins or sultanas with some fruit juice for several hours or until they are plump. This gives added moisture to the cake.
Peel 350 gm ( 2 cups ) of Carrots and coarsely grate and set aside.
Sieve 250 gm ( 1½ cups ) of plain flour into a large bowl, along with 10 ml or 2 tsp of baking powder and 5 ml or 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda and 20 ml or 4 tsp of mixed spice.
Beat 3 eggs into a large jug, add 100 ml ( 1/3 cup ) of liquid vegetable oil and add 100 gm (½ cup ) of dark brown sugar, and beat well altogether.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients already in the large bowl. Now add the soaked raisins and the grated Carrots and mix all the ingredients together with a spoon.
Transfer the mixture into the greased and lined baking tin. Bake in an oven at 180 C (gas mark 4) for 50 min, until it is cooked right through. Test with a skewer, which will come out clean if the cake is cooked.
If you are using a combination microwave oven, cook at 160 C plus warm power for 40 min.
Place on wire rack to cool. Once completely cool, it should keep for several days in a fridge.
Traditionally, you would make a cream cheese, butter and icing sugar topping, but that rather defeats the purpose of making a low fat, low sugar Carrot Cake!
BUT if you are determined to throw caution to the winds for a special occasion, here is a suggestion for a low fat topping that you can make once the cake is completely cold.
Soft cheese topping.
Empty 150 g carton of soft cheese, with less than 5% fat, into a small bowl. Add 6 Tbsp of sieved icing sugar and mix with a fork until well combined. Take a knife and spread it on the top of the Carrot cake and allow it to set.
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